Leicester City winger Ademola Lookman has revealed that the poverty he suffered growing up as a kid spurred him to succeed as a professional footballer.
The 24-year-old, currently on loan at Leicester City from RB Leipzig, said he had to eat at his friends’ houses as a child because there was no food in the fridge at home.
Speaking on BT Sport’s South of the River documentary series, Lookman said, “Being from a deprived area, a deprived background, that’s always behind you,” Lookman said.
“Coming home from football, because I knew there was no food at home, I’d eat at my friends’ houses.
“At that time I wasn’t going to go to my mum’s room and ask her why there was no food?’ She was away from home quite a lot doing cleaning jobs, being a dinner lady.
“My dad was working back in Nigeria. My older sister used to look after me when mum was away. Left alone at the house, meant more time to play football.”
Despite the difficulties he faced as a youngster, Lookman insists he is “grateful” for the struggles as they spurred him on to succeed and become the man he is today.
“My mum never once put pressure on me. I could see it was a struggle for my mum. She never showed me that. She’s the toughest character I know,” he said.
“Seeing my mum struggle gave me extra fuel and fire. But that drive, that feeling of I can do this, it was love.
“I’m grateful for the struggles; it made me who I am today.”
Lookman who has scored only two goals in 12 games across all competitions for the Foxes has decided to switch his international allegiance to Nigeria from England but the Nigeria Football Federation is yet to apply to world governing body FIFA for a nationality switch because he has played for England at U-19, U-20 and U-21 levels.
Contact: [email protected]